UofM Health Sciences Professor Receives Higher Ed Science Educator of the Year Award from Association

Marie van der Merwe

February 14, 2024 — Marie van der Merwe, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Memphis, recently received the 2023 Higher Education (4-year institution) Science Educator of the Year award from the Tennessee Science Teachers Association.

This statewide award recognizes leadership roles in promoting science and outstanding contributions to science education that positively impact the community.

“I am so grateful to be part of the UofM family,” said Van der Merwe, who recently reached her 10-year career milestone with the UofM. “The support and collaborative culture on campus makes for a great work environment, and I am excited to see what the future holds.”

Van der Merwe earned her doctorate in the field of molecular pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and went on to receive postdoctoral training in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where her work focused on identifying regulatory immune populations after an allogeneic transplant.

"Dr. van der Merwe is not only an extremely bright and innovative scientist, she is also a fantastic classroom teacher who, despite the rigorous nature of her courses, is extremely well-liked and respected by her students," said Richard Bloomer, PhD, dean of the College of Health Sciences.

At the UofM, she teaches biochemistry and immunology to scholars pursuing careers in health care. Her contributions to science education are extensive and include mentoring graduate students, community outreach through an afterschool food literacy program for middle schoolers and a seminar series in the College of Health Sciences providing students with exposure to cutting-edge research.



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